Ori­oles tie fran­chise-best start be­hind four hits from Machado

Cecil Whig - - SPORTS - By SEAN GRO­GAN

sgro­gan@ce­cil­whig

— Manny Machado did all he could to en­sure the Bal­ti­more Ori­oles their best start to a sea­son in nearly half a cen­tury.

The Ori­oles de­feated the Tampa Bay Rays 5-3 in front of 23,101 fans that braved the chilly tem­per­a­tures in the mid40s Sun­day at Ori­oles Park at Cam­den Yards. Bal­ti­more tied a fran­chise record by win­ning its first five games of a sea­son, which was last ac­com­plished in 1970.

Machado went 4-4 at the plate,

BAL­TI­MORE

in­clud­ing a two-run home run to left field dur­ing a four-run sec­ond in­ning.

“Let’s keep this ball rolling, keep play­ing as a team and do­ing what we’re do­ing, mov­ing guys over. We’re do­ing the lit­tle things, which is go­ing to sep­a­rate us,” the All-Star third base­man said. “It’s great to start off the be­gin­ning of the year pretty good. We’re win­ning at home, so we just got to keep play­ing, don’t think about the out­come. It’s still early, you don’t win a cham­pi­onship in April.”

The Ori­oles cracked the score­board in the bot­tom of the sec­ond when sec­ond base­man Jonathon Schoop dou­bled to the left-field cor­ner and scored Pe­dro Al­varez all the way from first. Schoop, who ex­tended his hit­ting streak to 11 games, was driven in two bat­ters later on a sac­ri­fice fly by Joey Rickard. Machado fol­lowed with his two-run blast that scored Hyun Soo Kim.

Kim be­came the first Kore­an­born player to ap­pear for Bal­ti­more as he made his Ma­jor League de­but. He recorded two hits, though nei­ther left the in­field.

Kim called it “a ner­vous day” through the help of his trans­la­tor.

“Fi­nally. I know he’s been wait­ing for this moment for a long time,” Machado said of Kim. “I told him be­fore the game started, ‘Just go out there and have fun, do what you do. This is the same game as you played in Korea. Keep do­ing the things you’ve been do­ing, don’t try to put pres­sure on your­self, just do out there and en­joy this moment.’”

Machado led the bot­tom of the eighth in­ning with a dou­ble to the left-cen­ter gap, then reached home on a wild pitch for the Ori­oles’ fifth run.

Rickard, the team’s Open­ing Day left fielder who played in cen­ter Sun­day for in­jured reg­u­lar Adam Jones, sin­gled to lead off the first in­ning. He has now hit safely in his first five Ma­jor League games.

Right-han­der Vance Wor­ley made his Ori­oles de­but and his first start since last July as a mem­ber of the Pitts­burgh Pi­rates. He al­lowed seven hits and three earned runs over four and twothirds in­nings, strik­ing out five and walk­ing one.

“I know it’s been a while, but these types of op­por­tu­ni­ties, you’ve just got to go un­til you can’t,” Wor­ley said. “It’s good to have the run sup­port. You feel a lit­tle bit more com­fort­able out there. You’re not walk­ing on egg shells try­ing to make the per­fect pitch. You can al­low your de­fense to work be­hind you and not have to be per­fect.”

Brad Brach pitched the next one and one-third in­nings to earn the win. It was his fifth-con­sec­tu­tive hit­less ap­pear­ance dat­ing back to last Oc­to­ber.

Re­liever Zach Brit­ton put down the Rays in or­der in the top of the ninth to earn his sec­ond save of the sea­son and 75th of his ca­reer, mov­ing him into sev­enth place on Bal­ti­more’s all-time saves list.

The Ori­oles now face a se­v­engame road trip af­ter the sea­sonopen­ing home stand, but man­ager Buck Showalter praised the work of his start­ing ro­ta­tion dur­ing the early win streak.

“We’ve got some guys try­ing to take ad­van­tage of the op­por­tu­nity … They gave us a chance to win all five games. If they do that, we’ll have some fun this sum­mer,” he said. “I just feel good to get through the home stand and get every­body on the field and on the mound and get their mo­tors started.”

Fol­low Sean Gro­gan on Twit­ter: @Sean_Ce­cilWhig

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